The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather

    Excerpt:

    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

1 day ago

7 Things: Masks could come back in Jefferson County, AEA demanding education employees stop criticizing them or be punished at work, Biden wants your kids under 12 vaccinated and more …

7. January 6 committee moving forward

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has called the concerns and complaints from Republicans, such as ones voiced by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), “antics,” and she’s planning to move forward despite these concerns.
  • McCarthy slammed the committee after two of his selections were blocked by Pelosi, and he insisted that Republicans would be forming their own committee to investigate the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

6. Race relations are worse than they have been in 20 years

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  • The media and their Democrats would somehow have you believe that America has become a more racist place every single day and even though this is patently absurd, that accusation is leading 57% of Americans to believe race relations between black and white Americans are “somewhat” or “very” bad.
  • According to Gallup, 70% of black Americans had positive views of race relations in 2001, now only 33% do. Also, 43% of white Americans view race relations positively, compared to 62% in 2001. These stunning drops began in 2013, which was the same year Black Lives Matter was founded.

5. Auburn’s head coach isn’t interested in the media’s vaccination games

  • Auburn football coach Bryan Harsin was recently asked about the team’s coronavirus vaccination rate, which he said the medical staff “has those answers a lot better than I do,” but he said he believes it’s around 60%.
  • Despite the rate being as high as it is, media outlets are qualifying this as a “low” vaccination rate. Harsin has emphasized that getting the vaccine is “deeply personal for a lot of people,” adding, “And so, that’s how we approach it: here’s the information, you make the decision.” Harsin didn’t disclose his vaccination status when asked, and he also mentioned that he would not ask players about whether they’re getting the vaccine.

4. Most Alabama counties are now ‘very high risk’

  • As coronavirus cases in the United States and Alabama have been increasing once again, the Alabama Department of Public Health has now said that 59 of 67 counties in Alabama are considered “red,” which is a very high risk, for spreading the virus.
  • There are currently 602 people hospitalized throughout the state, and in the last 14 days, there have been 9,907 new cases.

3. Biden wants to vaccinate kids under 12 by fall

  • President Joe Biden has met the new push for coronavirus vaccinations for children under the age of 12. He said that the goal is to have something available by “the end of August, beginning of September, October.”
  • Biden added that he believes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will recommend masks for children who are ineligible to get the vaccine, at least while they’re at school, and he declared the issue of being honest about vaccinations “a matter of community responsibility.”

2. AEA is fighting for education employees

  • A cease and desist letter from the Alabama Education Association (AEA) has been sent to Mary Crosby, a local board of education employee, after she criticized Critical Race Theory and the National Education Association (NEA) after she claimed in a post that part of the dues paid to AEA also went to NEA.
  • AEA claimed that Crosby spread false information and she must “retract the false publications” and they also sent a letter to the superintendent, adding that “should you continue to publish libelous materials about AEA, or make false statements about AEA, during work hours, without disciplinary action against you, we will deem your employer to have approved of such activities.” It was, in fact, not a workday for Crosby.

1. Masks could be coming back to Jefferson County

  • Governor Kay Ivey has made statements encouraging people to get the coronavirus vaccine for months but remains very blunt about the topic. Ivey said that in the effort to end the pandemic, “the unvaccinated folks are letting us down.” However, Ivey has no interest in issuing new mandates for masks or shutdowns, while Jefferson County is going in another direction.
  • Jefferson County health officer Dr. Mark Wilson has warned that masks should be considered for public places once again due to the rise in coronavirus cases. It’s anticipated that with a higher case count, hospitalizations and deaths could follow. Wilson said, “The tragic thing is that almost all of these deaths will have been prevented if only these people had been vaccinated.” Some of the media criticism of large gatherings has also returned as cases rise.

2 days ago

Will the SEC shine on Texas and Oklahoma?

(Pixabay, YHN)

Big oil is under attack. So it is doing what any other group would do to protect itself from regulators and turn a huge profit: it’s trying to play football in the SEC.

The University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma want to join college football’s one sure thing and true power conference.

College football realignment rumors whip the sport’s fans into a frenzy, without fail.

The grass in the new yard is always greener for the schools looking to make the move. For the conference taking in the new schools, it’s like adding a pool in the backyard. They think of how much more enjoyable Saturdays are going to be and the added value to the house. Once the novelty wears off, people usually find out what a pain it is to take care of a pool. Remember when the SEC was excited about having South Carolina as a new member?

These are very different programs, though. Maybe it has reached the point where the oil money at Texas and Oklahoma has just about had enough. It could be they are tired of taking a back seat to schools in the SEC they once viewed as nothing more than roughnecks.

While the decision-makers inside these institutions are really the only people who know what will happen, there are still a few things we can say for certain from the outside looking in.

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Greg Sankey will make the right decision

Those advocating for some kind of national college football czar need to recognize that the sport already has one. His name is Greg Sankey, and he is the commissioner of the SEC. Sankey assumes control over college football in much the same way the President of the United States is regarded as the leader of the free world.

It was almost exactly a year ago that Sankey single-handedly saved the 2020 season. If Sankey believes it is in the best interest of the SEC for Texas and Oklahoma to gain membership in the conference, can you guess what is going to happen?

The better question is if he thinks it is, in fact, in the conference’s best interest. We are talking about a conference which has dominated the last 15 years on the field and in the revenue department.

Is adding two more schools a necessity or a luxury? Sankey undoubtedly knows the answer to that question.

Sure, the member schools get to vote. But Sankey has earned the trust and credibility to steer the process.

Texas A&M is not happy

This is not exactly breaking news nor thoughtful analysis. They’ve said so.

The Aggies fled the Big 12 for more money — and to get away from the Longhorns.

Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork did not hesitate to say so when asked.

Texas A&M’s camp felt dismayed enough by the expansion momentum that it leaked the information in an effort to derail the process.

Head coach Jimbo Fisher was prepared when he was asked at SEC Media Days about Texas wanting into the SEC.

“I bet they do,” Fisher snickered.

He went on to brag about the strength of a conference which has won 11 of the last 14 national championships.

But 11 of 14 is an important equation for another reason. SEC bylaws require 11 of 14 teams to approve the addition of new members. No doubt Texas A&M is trying to whip votes against Texas from within the “No-Instate Rivals” caucus. Georgia, Florida, Kentucky and South Carolina have a long-standing pact to prevent their instate rivals — Georgia Tech, FSU, Louisville and Clemson — from becoming SEC programs.

If the Aggies can get three of the four to hold, then all this expansion talk is pointless.

Negotiating tactics rule the day

Legendary college football commentator Tony Barnhart thinks Texas and Oklahoma’s exit from the Big 12 is a known fact.

Maybe. Maybe not.

Texas has flirted with leaving before and was welcomed back with open arms.

If someone else other than Texas A&M leaked the expansion talks, then one might conclude the whole thing is a ploy by Texas and Oklahoma to get more money out of the Big 12’s next television contract.

Stadium’s Brett McMurphy reported that Texas and Oklahoma planned to notify the Big 12 next week that the schools would not renew grant-of-rights contracts with the conference. This is the lawyer’s way of saying, “Bye. Last one to leave, flip the lights off.”

One thing Barnhart is correct about is that there will not be any “no” votes if the SEC takes big oil in.

It sounds like votes are still being counted, though.

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia

2 days ago

7 Things: Alabama doctor goes viral with falsehood, Brooks vs. Shelby continues, education associations’ role in politics is questioned and more …

7. Huntsville doesn’t have plans for COVID relief money yet

  • With other cities across Alabama already making plans for the funds they received through the American Rescue Plan, Huntsville is yet to decide where any of the $35 million they received goes. Mayor Tommy Battle has already said that the city is “going to be very, very careful with this.”
  • Battle explained that some of the concern is a decision that could change the way they’re allowed to spend the money later on, and then they have to pay back some of the funds. Final decision on how money can be spent won’t be known until about September. Battle said the city is “going to be very, very conservative until we get all of that together.”

6. Shelby and Tuberville opposing tax aimed at farms

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  • U.S. Senators Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) are both standing up against the possible tax increase on family-owned businesses proposed by President Joe Biden to fund his infrastructure plan through a capital gains tax.
  • In a letter to Biden, the whole Senate Republican caucus explained why Biden should do away with the possible increase, saying that this would be “a new backdoor death tax on Americans.” The letter added that the proposal is “a significant tax increase that would hit family-owned businesses, farm, and ranches hard, particularly in rural communities.”

5. Pelosi blocks Jim Jordan and Jim Banks from riot committee

  • U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had previously chosen U.S. Representatives Jim Banks (R-IN) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) to join the committee to investigate the U.S. Capitol riot on January 6, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has rejected these members.
  • Pelosi said that she was rejecting the members due to “respect for the integrity of the investigation with an insistence on the truth and with concern about statements made and actions taken by these members.” McCarthy responded by saying, “Republicans will not be party to their sham process and will instead pursue our own investigation of the facts.”

4. Concern over Republicans who took money from AEA in 2018 grows

  • State Representative Charlotte Meadows (R-Montgomery) is raising concerns over the Alabama Education Association (AEA) gaining so much sway in the previous legislative session where the delay in the Literacy Act was approved but was later vetoed by Governor Kay Ivey.
  • Meadows is particularly concerned about the financial contributions the AEA has made to different political campaigns. She said that during the 2018 election cycle, there were a number of Republicans who accepted donations from the AEA’s “union” AVOTE. Meadows added that anyone who takes money from the AEA needs to be “aware of what they’re going to be expected to vote on because if we don’t’ as a state really focus on improving education, regardless of who we’ve gotten money from, we’re hurting the future – not just our current – we’re hurting future generations.”

3. Tuberville wants answers on Critical Race Theory

  • After the National Education Association (NEA) decided to start researching those opposed to Critical Race Theory, U.S. Senators Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) sent a letter to the NEA to get more information on their plans for the information they gather.
  • The letter describes the NEA as “the nation’s largest labor union representing over 3 million school faculty” and that they’re “deeply concerned” over the group’s actions. Tuberville and Blackburn are also specifically asking to know what information is going to be collected, as well as: “For what purpose will this research be used?”

2. The pointless proxy war between the establishment and the base in the U.S. Senate race continues

  • Recently, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) spoke to the National Journal where he spoke highly of candidate Katie Britt and declared that Britt is “highly qualified, and a very rational person.” He also suspects that U.S. Representative Mo Brooks’ (R-Huntsville) “camp is probably calling on the president.”
  • Shelby said that a lot of people would think Brooks would be an irrational senator, adding, “Look at his record.” Brooks responded to Shelby’s comments by calling Britt “his former, relatively inexperienced employee.” He went on to say, “U.S. Senate seats should never be inherited or bought, they should be earned and decided by the people of Alabama.”

1. Alabama doctor lies on Facebook and gets national news coverage

  • The American media has discovered an Alabama doctor because of a misleading story written at al(dot)com that frames her as a compassionate person concerned about people at the end of their lives. The actual Facebook post she wrote shows a very different side that mocks people who are dying. Almost all of the coverage focuses on comments made by Dr. Brytney Cobia of Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham about holding the hands of patients and apologizing that it is too late for the vaccine as they are being intubated, a story that is most certainly a lie.
  • The fawning coverage ignores the beginning of the post where she mocks her dying patients for not getting the vaccine and says she is increasing the number of people who want to get the vaccine as they are coming around at their last moment. She wrote, “I’ve made a LOT of progress encouraging people to get vaccinated lately!!! Do you want to know how? I’m admitting young healthy people to the hospital with very serious COVID infections.” This is not compassion, and it is obviously untrue, but it fits the narrative that dumb southerners are not getting vaccinated and they are paying for it. It is grotesque. The Alabama media and their friends in the national media don’t care that it is a made-up story.

3 days ago

7 Things: Gadsden offering an incentive to get vaccinated, teachers won’t be allowed to break the law in Alabama, Fauci clashes with Rand Paul in pandemic hearing and more …

7. Birmingham won’t use flashbangs or ‘no knock’ warrants

  • Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin has announced the completion of the review of the Birmingham Police Department, and one of the goals of the review was to revise policies within the department. This review was started after the death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, although neither of those deaths was caused by “no-knock searches.”
  • Woodfin has said that there will now be a ban on “no-knock search warrants,” and he stated that “all reasonable efforts will be made to knock and announce intentions before entering the property.” Woodfin added that there will also be a ban on “using devices such as flashbangs by police unless the risk assessment specifies their use extreme circumstances call for their use.”

6. It’s only not a super spreader event because they’re Democrats

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  • So far, six Texas Democrats have tested positive for the coronavirus after their trip to Washington, D.C. while they were blocking a vote on new voter laws in the state. White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked if this is considered a “super-spreader” event.
  • Psaki said it’s “not a characterization we’re making here.” She went on to say that the administration’s “message continues to be, ‘thanks for standing up for voting rights.’” Psaki added that the federal government was not considering a mask mandate at this time.

5. Racial slur used at a Tarrant City Council meeting

  • Calls for resignation have started for Tarrant City Councilman John “Tommy” Bryant after he used a racial slur during a meeting this week. The Alabama Democratic Party has joined the push for him to resign.
  • The meeting was recorded, and Bryant is heard saying, “Do we have a house n—– in here? Do we? Do we?” Gasps can be heard around the room after Bryant uses the slur. Tarrant Mayor Wayman Newton said when asked to comment, “The video speaks for itself.”

4. Daily COVID-19 updates are back

  • Daily coronavirus updates from the Alabama Department of Public Health have returned as cases in the state have been increasing for the last two weeks. About 85% of new cases have been the Delta variant.
  • Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers has urged everyone eligible to get the vaccine “in order to protect themselves and reduce transmission of this severe and deadly virus.” She emphasized that the “vaccine is safe, effective, free, and readily available.”

3. Fauci and Rand Paul clash again

  • Another hearing in Congress leads to another confrontation between a respected doctor, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), and a television star, Dr. Anthony Fauci. Fauci was not happy that Paul outlined how he directly led to sending money to the lab in Wuhan, China, where COVID-19 is thought to have originated.
  • This argument is predicated on the fact that the National Institute of Health did give money to this Chinese government lab that was doing “gain of function” research while pretending what they were doing did not fit the NIH’s definition of the research, according to the Washington Post’s Josh Rogin who wrote the book, “Chaos Under Heaven.” Fauci says this is a lie and that the National Institute of Health wasn’t involved in “gain of function” research which seems to be predicated on a tortured definition of the term and the NIH’s decision to fund the research.

2. State Rep. Crawford teachers who break the law fired

  • State Representative Danny Crawford (R-Athens) has already filed a bill that would fire teachers that teach “certain concepts regarding race or sex, such as critical race theory.” Crawford has said that there isn’t a place for Critical Race Theory in K-12 education, and obviously, teachers shouldn’t be breaking the law after legislators pass them without consequence.
  • Crawford questioned, “Why do you need a class? Why do you need a semester of critical race theory?” This referred to how the class is offered at some law schools. He added that “if you’re going to teach one theory, any theory, just have open discussion, but don’t teach it as the truth.”

1. Gadsden is offering a vaccine incentive to residents

  • Residents of Gadsden can now receive $100 when they get vaccinated against the coronavirus. There will also be two drawings of $5,000 for every 500 people who get vaccinated in the city. This comes after Governor Kay Ivey said she saw no need for a statewide vaccine incentive.
  • The city will use some of the funds they received from the American Rescue Plan’s Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. A spokesman for the city said the plan has been developed over the last several weeks. Residents will only receive their $100 after they’ve been fully vaccinated.

4 days ago

7 Things: Breakthrough cases might tip off another surge, Ivey says no mask mandate for schools, Brooks calls for Biden to overturn Fort Rucker mask mandate and more …

7. Pentagon is still so woke, service members so racist

  • In an effort to identify extremists within the ranks of the U.S. Military, the Pentagon has announced that they’ll be working with Moonshot CVE to go through data and determine which branches of the military have the most members who are becoming more extreme. Apparently, racism is so prevalent in the ranks that a company must be hired to find it.
  • The company has said that they have “monitored a list of almost 1,600 indicators of interest in or engagement with White supremacism, focused specifically on anti-Black and anti-Semitic narratives being used by extremist groups.” Some of the phrases are “George Floyd deserved to die,” “the truth about Black Lives Matter,” and “Jews will not replace us.”

6. Georgia Democrats don’t know how to actually feel about voting laws

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  • State Senator Sally Harrell (D-GA) is now explaining how solving the issue of long lines at the voting precincts in Georgia actually harms people’s right to vote, attempting to further the narrative that the voting laws passed in Georgia are racist because fixing voting issues is as racist as the issues themselves.
  • Harrell said that there is a portion of the law that addresses long voter lines and how to remedy this issue, but she said that it’s actually a “smoking gun” for restricting the right to vote since it orders that precincts should be split if they have issues of long lines. Harrell said it’s a “tactic” that could be used to suppress the vote, arguing people might not know where to go if their precinct is split. Apparently, black people are less likely to be able to figure out where to vote, according to Harrell, a white woman.

5. Committee to investigate the U.S. Capitol riot looks feisty

  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has chosen his five members of the GOP caucus that will investigate what happened that the U.S. Capitol on January 6. McCarthy selected U.S. Representatives Jim Banks (R-IN), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) and Troy Nehls (R-TX).
  • Banks seems ready to make this about other issues as well and wants to ask questions about other political violence including “the hundreds of violent political riots last summer when many more innocent Americans and law-enforcement officers were attacked” and “why was the Capitol unprepared and vulnerable to attack on January 6?”

4. Brooks asks Biden to overrule military commanders on mask mandates

  • U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) sent a letter to President Joe Biden requesting that he end the mask requirements for those at Fort Rucker in Alabama since the requirement is only for those who are not vaccinated against the coronavirus. Brooks called the order “discrimination.”
  • Brooks discussed how there are side effects to the vaccine, and it should remain a personal choice to be vaccinated, not through pressure from the government. Brooks went on to state, though, that “small fibers” and “inks and dyes” in masks “have unknown cancer and other health risks.” He even said that “almost all masks reduce oxygen intake.” Lastly, Brooks said that wearing a mask in the “heat and humidity of summers in the South” could cause more concerns of heatstroke. While these risks are minimal, because in the three-page press release Brooks mentioned mask fibers and heat stroke, this is the main focus of the coverage.

3. Side effects cause vaccine hesitancy

  • New data from a survey conducted by Economist/You Gov shows that 90% of people who don’t want to get the coronavirus vaccine are more concerned about side effects than anything else, including getting the coronavirus. About 75% of those unvaccinated believe that the concerns of the coronavirus were inflated for political benefit. There were only 29% of Republicans and 4% of Democrats who said they won’t get the vaccine.
  • There are 25% of fully vaccinated people who also think coronavirus concerns were exaggerated for the same reasons. One in five people who are unvaccinated trust the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, but less than one in 10 said they don’t trust Dr. Anthony Fauci, and 83% of those who are unvaccinated are not worried about getting the coronavirus. According to the survey, 20% of unvaccinated respondents said they believe the vaccine is being used to microchip people.

2. No masks in schools, but parents can still have the kids wear them

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics has suggested that children three years and older be masked while in school, but Governor Kay Ivey has rejected this suggestion quickly. She views masks as unnecessary for schools in Alabama to go back to the classroom.
  • However, Dr. Anthony Fauci also reacted to the suggestion from the organization during an appearance on CNN, and he said that children in school 3 years and older wearing masks is “a reasonable thing to do,” whether some of the kids are vaccinated or not. He added that the recommendation was made because the organization “just wants to be extra safe.”

1. Here we go again

  • Concerns over a rash of high-profile breakthrough infections among vaccinated people being found with new positives lead the news. There is an increase in those being infected with the Delta variant in the United Kingdom and Israel, as well as an increasing number in cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the United States. This includes in places with high vaccine numbers and without.
  • New data shows that U.S. cases are up 66% from the previous week and 145% higher than two weeks ago. Hospitalizations are becoming more numerous as well, as 24,923 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, up 26% from last week and up 50% over the last two weeks. More Americans are dying too, as 258 Americans died on average last week from COVID-19, which is up 13% from the rate of daily deaths the previous week.

5 days ago

7 Things: Public health officials unsure how to get more people unvaccinated, unemployment still dropping in Alabama, Brooks’ ‘chuckle’ over Texas Dems’ COVID-19 diagnosis causes uproar and more …

7. Graham might do exactly what Texas Democrats just did

  • During a recent interview, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) discussed a spending package that’s been put forward by Democrats, and he said that he would take the same direction that Texas Democrats recently did and just leave to stall the package.
  • Graham said that he “would use everything lawfully in my toolbox to prevent rampant inflation,” which could be caused by the $3.5 trillion in infrastructure spending that Democrats have said they’ll use budget reconciliation to pass. Graham added that this spending contains “all kinds of new social programs unrelated to infrastructure.”

6. Orr wants to make sure people can sue big tech for censorship

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  • State Senator Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) has decided to take on big tech and fight against the political censorship that takes place on social media platforms. He’s signaled that he’ll bring a bill forward that is similar to the one signed into law in Florida by Governor Ron DeSantis (R) to protect the state from the companies.
  • Orr said that these companies are “out of control when it comes to their censorship, political censorship.” He added that “giving citizens the private right of action, like Florida did is the way to go – at least my initial research shows that.”

5. DACA is found unconstitutional

  • When then-President Barack Obama created a program out of thin air that allowed illegal aliens to be protected from prosecutions and deportations nine years ago, many argued the creation of this program was unconstitutional. Now after nine years, the program has been ruled unconstitutional.
  • Even after the ruling, those in the program will still be protected. The judge who made the decision says that those in the program will be unaffected. The program can not approve new applicants in the program while accepting applications for it.

4. Brooks criticized for laughing at COVID-positive Texas Democrats

  • Five of the Democrats from Texas that fled the state to block a voting regulations bill have tested positive for the coronavirus, and in response to the news, U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) posted on Twitter, “Someone above has a great sense of irony & humor!”
  • Brooks added, “Anyone else unable to chuckle?” The congressman was quickly criticized for making light of the situation, and critics pointed out that there have been nearly 600,000 deaths from the coronavirus in the United States.

3. Unemployment in Alabama is now at 3.3%

  • The Alabama Department of Labor has updated its data on the unemployment rate for June, which fell to 3.3%. This is only down by 0.1% from May. However, the state unemployment rate in June 2020 was 7.7%.
  • Governor Kay Ivey has said that “we’re proud to celebrate the fact that Alabama is open for business,” and added that the improvements that have been made since the coronavirus pandemic started in 2020 “are truly remarkable and are a testament to the dedication to work ethic of Alabamians.”

2. The only vaccine incentive in Alabama is in the form of a TikTok competition

  • Governor Kay Ivey has said that there’s no reason to provide an incentive for people in Alabama to get the coronavirus vaccine, so as a new way to encourage people to get the vaccine the Alabama Department of Public Health has announced a TikTok contest. The contest is focused on people in the state between 13-29 years old, and the whole focus is on getting people to post videos explaining, “This is why I got vaccinated.” Winners, who are selected by a panel of judges based on how many likes and shares they get, originality, and creativity, will receive a $250 Visa gift card.

1. Harris doesn’t see a new way to increase the number of people vaccinated

  • Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris is at a loss for what to do moving forward to encourage more people in the state to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, as he discussed on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal” over the weekend.
  • Harris said that he’s “not sure what else we can do,” adding, “We have really tried to get the messaging out there.” He went on to say that there “are just a lot of people who are determined not to take the vaccine, and it’s really an unfortunate situation.”

6 days ago

VIDEO: Trump plays in Alabama’s U.S. Senate race, Critical Race Theory debate gains steam, state auditor continues to seek attention and more on Alabama Politics This Week …

Radio talk show hosts Dale Jackson and Michael Yaffee take you through Alabama’s biggest political stories, including:

— How will candidates handle former President Donald Trump’s desire to be a part of the 2022 Alabama U.S. Senate race?

— Will the media and their Democrats continue to react to the uproar against Critical Race Theory by pretending there is no uproar against Critical Race Theory?

— Can State Auditor Jim Zeigler boost his profile, and improve his chances of being governor, through ridiculous behavior and outlandish comments?

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Jackson and Yaffee are joined by Alabama Politics This Week’s co-host Mecca Musick to discuss the issues facing the state of Alabama this week.

Jackson closes the show with a “Parting Shot” directed at Governor Kay Ivey as he suggests that maybe the state could help facilitate some incentives for vaccinations using Alabama’s business community.

Watch:

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 5-9AM weekdays on WVNN and on Talk 99.5 from 10AM to noon.

1 week ago

7 Things: McClendon blames bureaucracy for low vaccination rates in Alabama, Jerry Carl discusses U.S. Capitol riot, coronavirus mandates making a return and more …

7. Biden upsetting his base by accurately describing communism

  • President Joe Biden has said that one of the options he’s considering to assist the people in Cuba is creating an internet source for them to access since the communist regime has shut down access due to protests.
  • Biden advised that they’re “considering whether we have the technological ability to reinstate that access.” He went on to call communism a “failed system, a universally failed system, and I don’t see socialism as a very useful substitute.” He added, “Cuba is, unfortunately, a failed state and represses their citizens.”

6. Gambling machines seized in Anniston

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  • In Anniston, police have seized 59 gambling machines, cash and a gun from multiple gambling establishments in the area. According to Anniston Police Chief Nick Bowles, the illegal operations were warned when there was a similar raid previously.
  • The FBI and Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the raid, and Bowles said that these operations are like “annoying flies” and the police department has “better things to do.” He added, “Real crime follows these places. We’ve had assaults, robberies, a shootout and even a murder at one of them,” and added that they’ve also had illegal drug and alcohol activity.

5. Congratulations to Barry Moore on his reelection

  • The WPA Intelligence has conducted a poll for the Club for Growth PAC that shows U.S. Representative Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) still holds a lead over former opponent Dothan businessman Jeff Coleman.
  • The 460 people surveyed in the second congressional district gave Moore 53% and Coleman took only 19%. There were also 25% of those surveyed that were undecided. Moore was also viewed 55% favorable to 15% unfavorable, compared to Coleman who had 30% favorable and 24% unfavorable.

4. Free speech under assault from the White House and big tech

  • Apparently, the White House is now playing hall monitor on the internet. White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters, “[The White House is] flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation.” But it is actually worse than that because the White House admits it is compiling lists for social media to target. This could be illegal if companies are being coerced by the government to censor speech.
  • The revelation was made as reporters questioned the press secretary about the administration’s aggressive policies targeting misinformation and previous statements about working with private companies to do it. Psaki stated, “We are in regular touch with the social media platforms and those engagements typically happen through members of our senior staff and also members of our COVID-19 team — given, as Dr. Murthy conveyed, this is a big issue, of misinformation, specifically on the pandemic.”

3. Jerry Carl is about to be accused of downplaying the U.S. Capitol riot

  • U.S. Representative Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) spoke to a group at Prichard City Hall where he discussed the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 and he described it as “a horrible event,” adding that there were also a lot of people just walking around and taking pictures.
  • Carl mentioned how some of the people who attended the pro-Trump rally were members of his congressional district, and they did go to the Capitol during the riot. He added that there were “a handful of bad people who tore things up. You had a lot of people, and I don’t know what the count was, but they were there to support their president, which was Trump.” 

2. Restrictions and mask mandates are coming back

  • Los Angeles County is bringing back the masks indoors, even for people who are fully vaccinated despite the county being able to cite a single instance of a fully vaccinated person being hospitalized. This is against the directives of the California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Proving that saying things like “cases are surging” means little without context, the L.A. Times noted, “COVID-19 hospitalizations doubled over that same time frame — from 223 on June 15 to 452 as of Wednesday.” But hospitalizations are 93% below where they were at the peak of the pandemic and deaths are also very low.

1. McClendon: Bureaucracy to blame for low vaccination numbers

  • State Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville) has come out with his thoughts on why Alabama’s coronavirus vaccination rates remain one of the lowest in the country. He argued that the state’s “response to getting the COVID vaccine available was unquestionably the worst in the nation.”
  • McClendon said that with the low vaccination rate in the state, it’s “time to throw some rocks…there needs to be some reorganization, name-calling and changes in the way that’s done because we perform miserably and are continuing to perform miserably in dealing with this pandemic.” But the vaccine is readily available statewide, and the number of vaccines going into arms isn’t increasing.

1 week ago

7 Things: No public vaccine incentives for Alabama, Critical Race Theory seems poised to be an issue for Alabama Legislature, Shelby shrugs off RINO label and more …

7. Possible consequences for Texas Democrats

  • Since the Democratic legislators fled Texas to block a voting regulations bill, House Speaker Dade Phelan suggested that the representatives need to forfeit their daily $221 stipend while they remain out of state.
  • There have been at least 51 House Democrats that went to Washington, D.C., out of the state’s 67, and there could also be nine state senators that also went. Phelan said, “Those who are intentionally denying quorum should return their per diem to the State Treasury immediately upon receipt.”

6. Rubio: Biden has to take action with Cuba to avoid further issues

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  • Issues continue in Cuba as citizens are protesting for freedom against the communist regime. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is advocating for President Joe Biden to step in. Otherwise, he warned, the situation could turn into a “bloodbath” soon.
  • Rubio wants Biden to “convene the United Nations, convene the Organization of American States in emergency session, discuss these abuses, pressure or shame the international community into condemning and isolating that regime and pressure them to prepare to take action to prevent a massacre, a bloodbath.”

5. Tennessee fires vaccine official for doing what Alabama does

  • The state of Tennessee’s Department of Health has fired a leading vaccine official after outrage over the state’s minors in vaccination campaigns and holding vaccine drives on school campuses.
  • Dr. Michelle Fiscus, a pediatrician, was fired Monday and is now doing the media rounds claiming she is being muzzled. She is also acknowledging that legislators were “contacting TDH asking questions about the memo with some interpreting it as an attempt to undermine parental authority.” It did, and it does.

4. Back in the day, everyone was a Democrat

  • Former President Donald Trump recently called U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) a “RINO,” and even referred to U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as an “Old Crow.”
  • Shelby has responded to the statement, saying that he “was a Democrat at one time,” adding, “A long time ago, we all were.” He reaffirmed that he’s Republican now, and he doesn’t “think anybody questions that up here.” Shelby also maintained that U.S. Senate candidate Katie Britt is “the best qualified and the best hope we’ve got in the state.” 

3. CRT will be addressed by the legislature

  • It’s already been said by State Representative Ed Oliver (R-Dadeville) that he intends to bring the legislation up in the next session to deal with Critical Race Theory being taught in Alabama schools, and now State Senator Will Barfoot (R-Pike Road) has announced similar intentions.
  • Barfoot said that the Alabama Legislature is “100%” likely to consider a bill on the issue, and he repeated the phrase “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” He added, “Just because it may not be as widespread in Alabama as it is in other states, rest assured, it’s on its way.”

2. Alabama employer offering a big incentive to get vaccinated

  • Employees at Leidos, which owns Alabama-based Dynetics, will now have another reason to get the coronavirus vaccine — $1 million.
  • Roger Krone, chairman and CEO of Leidos accurately points out that his company, like our country, “has seen a bit of a slowdown in the number of people actually getting the vaccine” Krone told The Washington Post, “We see a huge need to gently push people who are on the fence, and give them one more reason to do it.”

1. No vaccine incentives for Alabama

  • During a visit in Birmingham, Governor Kay Ivey clarified that there will be no state incentives given to encourage people to take the coronavirus vaccine. Ivey said the vaccines are effective and the “data proves they work. Use your head and get a shot.”
  • Ivey’s visit to the city was for the Birmingham Rotary Club, where she discussed the improvements the state has made since the beginning of the pandemic. She advised, “We have more job opportunities than we do individuals to fill them.” She also mentioned that the unemployment rate has continued to fall in recent months and is getting closer to the pre-pandemic 2.4%.

1 week ago

7 Things: Unvaccinated now solely bearing brunt of coronavirus in Alabama, Biden stokes war on voter integrity, ‘historic’ wins for Alabama Republicans and more …

7. Roy Moore loses, again

  • Former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore has lost another battle in court. This time, his opponent was a comedian who tricked him into embarrassing himself on his TV show under the premise that he was giving him an award.
  • Moore’s suit again Sacha Baron Cohen, best known for his Borat character, was dismissed with prejudice which means Moore could not refile it. Moore was seeking $95 million dollars for a skit that showed Moore taking a test to determine if he was a pedophile, which he failed.

6. Democratic socialists blame America for Cuba’s issues

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  • U.S. Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Jamaal Bowman (D-MO) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) have all been connected to the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), which has now indicated support of the Cuban government.
  • The International Committee for DSA said they’re standing with the “Revolution,” which is a term used by the Cuban communist regime, in their “moment of unrest,” as citizens are protesting the oppressive government. The DSA within the United States has blamed the trade embargo for unrest, which U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has also criticized.

5. Still no charges for treason or sedition for Capitol rioters

  • For all the big talk about insurrection and treasonous sedition we have seen in the American media as coverage of the January 6 U.S. Capitol riot, the charges for said allegations have been severely lacking, according to a study by the Associated Press.
  • Analysis of charges filed so far finds that the most serious charges filed are conspiracy charges, which carry a 20-year prison sentence, but neither the 500 rioters charged with any offenses nor the speakers at the rally beforehand have had charges of treason or sedition brought. The prosecutor who suggested there would be such charges has quietly left the Department of Justice. 

4. State Auditor Zeigler calls for ban on “vaccine squads”

  • President Joe Biden’s administration has announced a national effort going door-to-door to get more people vaccinated. The administration also indicated support for local vaccine mandates. State Auditor Jim Ziegler has come out against the door-to-door approach.
  • Ziegler wants to ban “vaccine squads” in Alabama. He said, “We don’t want the federal government or any government coming to our house without a warrant…So in America and in Alabama, let freedom ring but let’s not let the government ring our doorbells.”

3. First black Alabama Republican elected to the legislature since Reconstruction

  • Retired Army Sergeant Kenneth Paschal beat down Democrat Sheridan Black 75-25 in the race to represent parts of Shelby County in District 73 in the Alabama State House and replace former State Representative Matt Fridy, who was elected to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. Paschal noted the historic nature of his win but said he believes there is a bigger message. He stated, ‘They saw a God-fearing man of integrity who values and defends our Constitution. But I do recognize the historical significance of what happened today. I hope to be an example to all Alabamians that the Republican Party is open to everyone who shares a belief in freedom, self reliance, fiscal responsibility, and opportunity for all.”
  • But Paschal’s election was not the only big win for Republicans yesterday. Former State Representative and former Trump administration official April Weaver became the only female Republican in the Alabama State Senate. Weaver defeated Democrat Virginia Teague Applebaum 82-18 to replace former State Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster), who accepted an appointment to lead the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles.

2. The Democrats’ war on voter integrity efforts continue

  • President Joe Biden gave a speech recently where he voiced opposition to voter integrity laws and even went so far as to say, “We are facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil war. That’s not hyperbole – since the Civil War.”
  • Biden went on to say, “We have the means – we just need the will,” to reverse these decisions on voting laws. He added that we have “[t]he will to save and strengthen our democracy.” Vice President Kamala Harris met with fugitive Texas Democrats and told them, “I know what you have done comes with great sacrifice, both personal and political,” which is odd because the American media seems to love them.

1. Unvaccinated people in Alabama are still at risk, obviously

  • As there continues to be a narrative pushed that more restrictions are needed to prevent the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, there is new data showing that about 96% of new coronavirus deaths since April 1 have been unvaccinated people.
  • The state has had 529 total coronavirus deaths since April 1, and only 20 of them were individuals who were fully vaccinated. The seven-day case average in Alabama has increased recently to 444, while it was 141 about a month ago, with 33% of people in the state fully vaccinated.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Critical Race Theory message shifting again in Alabama, Harris’ voter ID nonsense draws response from Merrill, coronavirus vaccination messaging issues arise and more …

7. Commercial spaceflight leads to hiring in Alabama

  • If you’re a welder or machinist, Blue Origin is looking to hire 80 more people in these positions within the next two months. This is to further their effort to advance access to space.
  • The company will be interviewing for these positions as soon as this Friday. Recently, there was an intense push to move forward with more commercial spaceflight, and Blue Origin is one of the companies working on this.

6. Press barred as Sheriff Blakely’s trial begins

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  • The trial on corruption charges against Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely has started, but Judge Pamela Baschab has barred any press or public from sitting in on the trial jury selection. This whole week is dedicated to jury selection.
  • Alabama law has said that jury selection is supposed to be open to the public, but lawyer Dennis Bailey of the Alabama Press Association has said that a 1992 Supreme Court decision allows jury selection to be private “only for good cause shown.” The judge’s bailiff, Tony King, cited seating and security concerns as the reason for keeping the proceedings private.

5. Biden voices support for Cuban protesters

  • President Joe Biden has finally made a statement of support for the protesters in Cuba who are advocating against the oppressive government. Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has accused the United States of funding the protests.
  • Biden said the nation supports “the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected.” He added that they are “bravely asserting fundamental and universal rights.”

4. New Johnson & Johnson side effect added

  • As the Biden administration begins to support local vaccine mandates, there will now be a new warning that comes with the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine. As the Food and Drug Administration has announced, there a rare risk of Guillain-Barre, which is an autoimmune nerve disorder.
  • There have been about 100 cases of the disorder reported among the 12.5 million people vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson, with one death. The FDA has been clear, though, that the data “is insufficient to establish a causal relationship.”

3. DNC and other Biden-aligned entities to work with cell carriers to “dispel misinformation”

  • In an effort to reportedly battle “misinformation,” the Biden administration is about to roll out an aggressive campaign that will include a decision to “hit back harder” at critics and “scare tactics.” Social media users and “conservative news shows” will be targeted by the government and their political allies, according to a report at Politico.
  • Most concerning is the premise that SMS messages to cell phone users could be read and then responded to by “Biden allied groups, including the Democratic National Committee” by working with SMS carriers to fight information they disagree with that is sent over text messages, but the details of that operation are unclear.

2. Harris can’t have her own facts about voter ID

  • Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has denied Vice President Kamala Harris’ narrative about requiring a photo ID for voting is not a way to oppress votes but “has served as a major deterrent of voter fraud.”
  • Merrill directly addressed Harris in his statement, saying she “may be entitled to her own opinion but not her own facts. The voter ID laws put in place do not make it ‘almost impossible’ to vote, but instead ensure that every election is safe and secure.”

1. The narrative crafting continues on Critical Race Theory

  • Now that Critical Race Theory is under fire in Alabama, some are doing their best to change the narrative on the situation. While it was previously said that Critical Race Theory wasn’t an issue in the state, it’s now being reported that it wasn’t an issue anyone was concerned about until officials started targeting the curriculum.
  • State Superintendent Eric Mackey advised that before a school board meeting, he was being stopped by people asking about the curriculum and if it’s currently taught in schools. Mackey said that the subject “is a new topic to most people, and they don’t completely comprehend it.”

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Trump punches at Britt in Senate race, door-to-door vaccine push getting pushback, vaccination uncertainty leads to vaccine hesitancy and more …

7. Space tourism is here

  • Virgin Galactic CEO Richard Branson has become the first space tourist. Branson flew 53 miles above the earth in a test that makes it clear that commercial space flights will be kicking off, as scheduled, next year.
  • But it wasn’t all praise for the adventure. Calls came for higher taxes on billionaires as this historic achievement took place. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was not happy. He stated, “Here on Earth, in the richest country on the planet, half our people live paycheck to paycheck, people are struggling to feed themselves, struggling to see a doctor — but hey, the richest guys in the world are off in outer space! Yes. It’s time to tax the billionaires.”

6. Biggest protests in Cuba in decades

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  • Declaring, “We are not afraid,” thousands of Cubans in multiple cities across the communist dictatorship took to the street in protests against general misery and the handling of the coronavirus pandemic. President Joe Biden has not responded to the protests and has already been called out by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), who tweeted, “The people of #Cuba bravely take to the streets against 62 years of socialist tyranny 12 hours later President @JoeBiden @POTUS has yet to say a word about it “
  • Cuba and communism fans like the New York Times reacted to the news by referring to Cubans’ cries for “freedom” as “anti-government slogans.” U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said nothing after notoriously praising Cuba’s policies for decades.

5. Brooks endorses Ainsworth

  • Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth has now been endorsed by U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) in his reelection campaign. Ainsworth has also been endorsed by U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL).
  • In announcing the endorsement, Ainsworth said, “Since our announcement, the groundswell of enthusiasm for our message from every corner of our great state has been overwhelming and humbling.”

4. CPAC could be previewing 2024

  • The most recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas still showed a strong favorability for former President Donald Trump to run again in 2024, with their polling data suggesting that 70% were for Trump.
  • In February, Trump received 55% at the Orlando CPAC event. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) was in second place with 21% and U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Nikki Haley, U.S. Representative Ted Cruz (R-TX), Fox News Host Tucker Carlson, former Vice President Mike Pence, and more only receiving 1%.

3. Fauci uncertain if a vaccine booster is actually necessary

  • Chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden Dr. Anthony Fauci has said it’s premature to say that a booster shot for the coronavirus vaccine is necessary, but it’s “entirely conceivable, maybe likely.”
  • The Food and Drug Administration has recently pushback on Pfizer’s suggestion that people who are already vaccinated should get a booster shot within 12 months. Fauci has said that current data doesn’t support booster shots.

2. Opposition to Biden’s door to door vaccine effort grows

  • President Joe Biden’s administration previously announced its intention to start an effort to go door-to-door to those in the country who are not vaccinated to educate them on the vaccine and encourage vaccination. Governor Ivey’s office has rejected this measure, saying, “Governor Ivey has no plans to put in a request for government workers to knock on people’s doors here in Alabama.” Even so, State Auditor Jim Zeigler is out seeking attention by calling on Governor Kay Ivey to “clearly ban home intrusions by vaccine squads in Alabama.”
  • U.S. Representative Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) has teamed up with 31 other House members in a letter to Biden requesting more details of what this plan includes. Moore said that this “is another step by the Biden administration to transform the federal government into ‘Big Brother.'” He also added that Congress can do away with a plan that would give “more power to an out-of-control federal government and endangers our fundamental liberties. Americans should have the expectation of privacy.” 

1. Trump is trying to sway the U.S. Senate election

  • President Donald Trump is doing his best to insert himself into the U.S. Senate race here in Alabama already, asserting that candidate Katie Britt isn’t qualified for the position. He said Britt is not “what our Country needs or not what Alabama wants.”
  • In his statement, Trump also referred to U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) as a “RINO,” referring to Britt as Shelby’s “assistant.” Britt responded promptly, stating that she doesn’t “need anyone else to fight my battles, and as Alabama’s next U.S. Senator, I won’t be a rubber stamp for anyone.” She went on to say that U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) “is obviously panicked; he’s been in elected office for 40 years, but the people of Alabama are eager for a real conservative choice and someone who’s going to bring change to D.C.”

2 weeks ago

VIDEO: Alabama doctors suggest lockdown possible but Ivey sounds skeptical, Britt brings in big money, Brooks responds to lawsuit and more on Alabama Politics This Week …

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and political consultant Mecca Musick take you through Alabama’s biggest political stories, including:

— Is Governor Kay Ivey serious about avoiding new COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns?

— Can U.S. Senate candidate Katie Britt move voters with her $2.24 million fundraising haul?

— How much longer will the drama between U.S. Representatives Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) go on?

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Jackson and Musick are joined by former U.S. Attorney Jay Town to discuss the issues facing the state of Alabama this week.

Jackson closes the show with a “Parting Shot” directed at the Alabama Legislature imploring them to create some real school choice options for all of Alabama’s children.

Watch:

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 5-9AM weekdays on WVNN and on Talk 99.5 from 10AM to noon.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Ivey polling well, lockdowns not coming back to Alabama, war in Afghanistan coming to an end August 31 and more …

7. No fans and no fun at the Olympics

  • Just ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, it’s been announced by organizers that no spectators will be allowed at the games. This is due to Tokyo recently declaring a state of emergency for the increase of coronavirus cases.
  • Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee president Seiko Hashimoto said that there was “no choice but to hold the Games in a limited way.” There may still be spectators allowed at events outside of Tokyo.

6. Democrats launch $25 million attack on voter integrity laws

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  • Vice President Kamala Harris announced that the Democratic National Committee is spending $25 million in their new “I Will Vote Campaign.” to counter voter integrity laws passed in states across the country after the 2020 presidential election.
  • Harris called this effort “the fight of our nation’s lifetime,” but emphasized that it’s “about all voters.” She added, “We want to help you vote, and we want to help make sure your vote is counted. And that is because our democracy is strong when everyone participates, and it is weaker….when people are left out.”

5. Jessica Taylor launches her U.S. Senate campaign

  • Previously, Jessica Taylor came in third as a 2020 candidate for the second congressional district in Alabama, and now she’s announced that she’s running for U.S. Senator Richard Shelby’s (R-AL) seat. She struck a very conservative tone and released a video targeting Vice President Kamala Harris, socialists, big tech, the woke police, the fake news media and radical liberals in Washington, D.C. in a flashy Youtube ad announcing her candidacy.
  • The race has become a bit more crowded, now, as it includes U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville), former Business Council of Alabama president Katie Britt and former U.S. ambassador to Slovenia Lynda Blanchard.

4. Huntsville officer continues to be paid

  • Huntsville police officer William Ben Darby was convicted of murdering Jeffery Parker about two months ago and is still waiting to be sentenced. While he waits, he’s remained on the city’s payroll. He has been stripped of his law enforcement certification.
  • Since being convicted, Darby has been using sick leave, totaling about $2,162 every other week before taxes. Darby’s pay details were found through a public open records request. However, police department employees were also apparently asked through email to donate leave time to an anonymous employee just over a week after Darby was convicted.

3. Afghanistan presence will end August 31

  • According to President Joe Biden, the presence in Afghanistan will end on August 31. He said, “We did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build.” This comes after Biden pledges to end the U.S. presence in the country earlier this year.
  • Biden added that he “will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan, with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome.” During his statements, Biden mentioned that he believes the Afghan military can adequately defend the country.

2. Alabama isn’t heading for another lockdown

  • Governor Kay Ivey objected to the narrative that Alabama could be headed toward another lockdown or restrictions due to the spread of the Delta variant of coronavirus. This came after a report from AL.com that quoted Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo saying that the state could face more hospitalizations and then restrictions.
  • Ivey called the headline of the story “misleading” and added, “Alabama is OPEN for business. Vaccines are readily available and I encourage folks to get one. The state of emergency & health orders have expired. We are moving forward.”

1. Tell me more about how Ivey’s reelection is in trouble

  • Criticism of Governor Kay Ivey over the lockdown, mask orders and gas taxes are apparently not putting her reelection in jeopardy as she continues to run with no real serious opposition while raking in endorsements and money. 
  • In fact, Governor Kay Ivey could be easily cruising to reelection because a new poll shows her to be more popular than she has been at any point of her time as Alabama’s 57th governor. Her favorability rating is higher now than when she crushed Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, and she can still point to low unemployment numbers and a recovering economy. Her approval rating among primary voters is 80% or higher in all media markets. According to the survey, 69% said they would choose her over suggested candidates State Auditor Jim Zeigler, Tim James and Lynda Blanchard.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Talk of lockdowns returns, 94% of hospitalizations for COVID-19 are unvaccinated, Trump announces big tech lawsuit and more …

7. Law aimed to increase voter participation

  • State Senator Jabbo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills) and State Representative Jim Hill (R-Moody) sponsored a bill that changed the schedule for most municipal elections across the state so they’re not on the same schedule as presidential elections. The purpose of this is to increase voter participation.
  • Alabama League of Municipalities executive director Greg Cochran, who supports the bill signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey, said that this “will improve the current process for municipal elections and further strengthen the democratic process by moving municipal elections off the national election cycle.”

6. Tuskegee city councilman attempts to take down Confederate statue

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  • The saga of Alabama’s Confederate memorials enters a new chapter as former Tuskegee mayor and current city councilman Johnny Ford has been stopped from using a saw to cut down a Confederate memorial that sits in a city park. He was able to cut one of the legs off before the sheriff stopped him.
  • Ford told the Associated Press that he wanted to take it down because “we can’t have a Confederate statue which represents slavery standing up in the middle of our town.” Sheriff Andre Brunson stopped Ford and another man from damaging the statue further and will file a report with the district attorney and charges could be filed for “destruction of property.”

5. Britt doesn’t support a toll bridge

  • U.S. Senate Candidate Katie Britt said that the I-10 Mobile Bay Bridge cannot be a toll bridge. She also described it as “a federal bottleneck that has been acknowledged as that for years.”
  • Britt acknowledged that something has to be done to improve the bridge and she wants “to find a way to go a different route here” than tolling. The bridge has been the point of discussion for quite some time now, with no clear solution yet.

4. Redstone Arsenal is a national asset — some in Colorado still complaining 

  • Some retired generals are making waves about the decision to move the Air Force’s U.S. Space Command to Alabama. This is the latest attempt to undo the scheduled move to Redstone Arsenal with the claim of political reasons. The Air Force says this wasn’t true, and even President Joe Biden’s acting secretary of the Air Force John Roth said, “I have personally no evidence that the decision was politically motivated.”
  • Redstone Arsenal has recently received some high praise from Vice Chief of Staff of the Army General Joseph Martin when he called it a national asset and said, “Spending just a day here is worth 20 times the amount of time that I could spend being briefed in the Pentagon.” Martin added that Redstone is essential as the “Army couldn’t do its mission without this team here,” and there’s an “impact it has on the Army and the future of the Army.”

3. Trump suing Facebook, Google and Twitter

  • Facebook, Google and Twitter are all involved in a lawsuit now from former President Donald Trump where he is alleging that the companies and their CEOs wrongfully censored Trump when he was banned from the platforms earlier this year.
  • Trump held a press conference to announce the lawsuit, and he said that they’re “demanding an end to the shadow-banning, a stop to the silencing and a stop to the blacklisting, banishing and canceling that you know so well.”

2. Coronavirus hospitalizations are mostly unvaccinated people

  • In Alabama, hospitalizations for the coronavirus have remained low, and while there is growing concerned about the Delta variant, those who are hospitalized are mostly those who are unvaccinated. If you are vaccinated, you probably won’t end up in a hospital.
  • The Alabama Hospital Association has said that 94% of patients in Alabama who are hospitalized with the coronavirus are unvaccinated. There has not been a significant increase in new cases with the Delta variant, but the variant does make up more than 50% of cases nationally.

1. Push for lockdowns and restrictions reignited by Delta variant

  • Due to the spreading of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, there has been a renewed push nationally for the return of masks and restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus. Los Angeles County has already started recommending that people mask indoors. With only 33% of Alabamians fully vaccinated, there has been more concern for a potential “summer surge” that could result in another lockdown.
  • UAB Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo is concerned about the hospitalizations in Alabama, saying that the “rates are increasing exactly as we saw before.” A lot of the talk sounds familiar with claims that health care delivery could be threatened and that we may not actually have an accurate case count since testing rates have declined rapidly.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Critical Race Theory battle rages on, Britt scores a big haul for her campaign, Brooks confuses the media with a very simple legal response and more …

7. Raytheon is the latest big business to go “woke”

  • Last year, defense contracting giant Raytheon decided to address racial injustice with a program called “Stronger Together,” and the details of that program are coming to light as the focus on racial bias training and Critical Race Theory reaches every level of American life.
  • The program urged workers to “develop intersectional allyship in the workplace,” calls for employees to “identify everyone’s race” to “address racial injustice,” says that “we really need to be striving for ‘equity’ rather than ‘equality,'” and instructs white employees to “identify [their] privilege.”

6. You can’t smoke marijuana and compete in the Olympics

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  • Sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson has been disqualified from competing at the Tokyo Olympics since she has tested positive for marijuana, leaving her off the roster for the USA Track and Field team. Richardson was open about using marijuana after the death of her mother before the trials in June.
  • USATF has said that they support the decision and Richardson at the same time, agreeing “that the merit of the World Anti-Doping Agency rules related to THC should be reevaluated, it would be detrimental to the integrity of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track & Field if USATF amended its policies following the competition, only weeks before the Olympic Games.”

5. Biden is starting a door-to-door vaccine effort

  • White House press secretary has announced that President Joe Biden is starting up several efforts to get more people in the United States vaccinated against the coronavirus, with one of them being “targeted community by community door to door outreach to get remaining Americans vaccinated by ensuring they have the information they need on both how safe and accessible the vaccine is.”
  • Many have already called this shocking “door-to-door” approach out and questioned the legality of allowing unvaccinated people’s personal information to be given to someone to come to their house and give them vaccine information.

4. UNA SGA president getting support from House GOP

  • University of North Alabama Student Government Association President Jake Statom has recently come under criticism for posting a picture on his Instagram of a T-shirt that said, “Born this way? You must be born again.” As calls for him to resign have mounted, some Alabama House Republicans have voiced their support for Statom.
  • State Representative Jamie Kiel (R-Russellville) said that Statom has a “right to promote traditional morals and values on his personal social media platforms.” State Representatives Andrew Sorrell (R-Muscle Shoals), Phillip Pettus (R-Killen) and Lynn Greer (R-Rogersville), and State Senators Larry Stutts (R-Tuscumbia) and Tim Melson (R-Florence) are part of a resolution stating their support for Statom against “cancel culture.”

3. Mo Brooks offers a simple legal response to a court case — Media pretends it can’t understand

  • Predictably, the American media and their Democrats are telling their audiences that they don’t understand what is happening in the legal “battle” between U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and President Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., Rudy Giuliani, and U.S. Representative Mo Brooks  (R-Huntsville).
  • Brooks’ legal filing lays out the argument that Swalwell’s case has no legal standing due to his position as a member of Congress, which they chose to pretend they don’t understand. This false ignorance by “experts” leads to misleading headling headlines like, “Rep. Mo Brooks on Incendiary Jan. 6th Speech: Trump Made Me Do It” from Yahoo and “Mo Brooks blames Trump for his participation in rally before Capitol riot” from The Independent.

2. Katie Britt makes history with fundraising

  • In the most recent fundraising term, U.S. Senate candidate Katie Britt has reportedly raised $2.24 million. Her campaign said that over 90% of the campaign donations were from people in Alabama.
  • No other Republican candidate running for a federal office in the state has raised that much within a quarterly fundraising period. Britt stated, “It is clear that the people of our great state know that we don’t just need a senator from Alabama, we need a Senator FOR Alabama.”

1. Issues continue for Critical Race Theory in Alabama

  • Recently, there have been concerns over the teaching of Critical Race Theory in the form of the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) “No Place for Hate” program at Mountain Brook City Schools, mostly due to a lack of transparency and not allowing parents to see the curriculum that would be used. The National Education Association endorsed teaching this nonsense in all K-12 schools but has deleted the information about it off their website.
  • Jefferson County Republican Party chairman Paul DeMarco is calling on the Alabama Legislature to prevent situations like this across the state, adding that “parents should be able to sit in the program to monitor what’s going on.” He emphasized that the biggest issue is “hiding this program from the parents.” Huntsville City Schools also use the ADL program.

3 weeks ago

7 Things: Democrats use July 4 to attack America, judge denies Swalwell’s motion to win case against Brooks, more legislators question prion plans and more …

7. Bill Cosby could be going on tour

  • Since Bill Cosby was released from prison, he’s now allegedly been in talks to start a comedy tour. Andrew Wyatt, Cosby’s spokesperson, has said that Cosby “is just excited the way the world is welcoming him back.”
  • When Cosby was released from prison, he continued his narrative that he is innocent. Wyatt has also insisted, “[C]omedy club owners have called. People want to see him.”

6. Steve Clouse running for speaker, Poole withdraws

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  • State Representative Steve Clouse (R-Ozark) has announced that he will be running for the speaker of the House position after current Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) announced that he would not be running for reelection.
  • While Clouse has just announced his candidacy, State Representative Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa) has withdrawn his candidacy for speaker, saying that he’s “decided that it is not in the best interests of my family for me to pursue the position of Speaker of the House.”

5. Sheriff Blakely’s trial starts next week

  • Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely will go on trial next Monday for charges of corruption. There have been dozens of people subpoenaed to testify in the trial that’s expected to take about a month.
  • Blakely is facing five felony counts of theft, five felony counts of using his position for personal gain and one misdemeanor charge of theft. It’s also expected that there will be at least 15 current and former employees of the sheriff’s office that will testify.

4. Legislative scorecards are out

  • The American Conservative Union Foundation’s Center for Legislative Accountability released the scorecard for 2020. Legislators are scored on education, health care, regulations, taxation, monetary policy, Second Amendment, government transparency, elections, environment, foreign policy, free speech and federalism.
  • For the U.S. Representatives from Alabama, Bradley Byrne (R-Mobile) was scored nationally No. 29, while Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) nationally was No. 26, and Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) was No. 42 nationally. U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) was ranked No. 23 nationally, and U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) was ranked No. 56. For Alabama State Representatives, Andrew Sorrell (R-Muscle Shoals) was ranked No. 1, and for State Senate, Shay Shelnutt (R-Trussville) was placed at No. 1.

3. State Sen. Elliott doesn’t like that legislators are negative about the prospects of new prisons

  • Recently, State Representative Steve McMillan (R-Foley) commented that he doesn’t believe the prison issues will be handled in the 2022 legislative session since it’s a campaign year.
  • State Senator Chris Elliott (R-Daphne) expressed his disappointment with this perspective. Elliott said he’s “frustrated to hear some of my colleagues say this is a mountain too high to climb … that’s just very undermining when we’re trying to work on and solve this problem.”

2. Default judgment against Brooks denied

  • U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA) has requested that there be a default judgment issued in his civil lawsuit against U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville), which happens in scenarios where a defendant is unresponsive to a lawsuit.
  • U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta has denied this request, though, saying that they couldn’t consider Brooks “an essentially unresponsive party” and strong policy reasons favor resolution of disputes on their merits.” Brooks recently requested that he be dismissed from the lawsuit.

1. Jeff Sessions warns of the left’s attack on American history, then they do it on July 4

  • On Sunday, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared at the First Baptist Church of Huntsville and warned that Americans should not allow “the left to demoralize the founding of the greatest country in the history of the world.”
  • As if Sessions was predicting the future, U.S. Representative Cori Bush (D-MO) used the Fourth of July holiday to fire off an ignorant tweet claiming, “When they say that the 4th of July is about American freedom, remember this: the freedom they’re referring to is for white people. This land is stolen land and Black people still aren’t free.” None of this is true, and she knows it.

3 weeks ago

VIDEO: Trump denied Alabama rally, Speaker McCutcheon stepping down, prison reform seems unlikely and more on Alabama Politics This Week

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and political consultant Mecca Musick take you through Alabama’s biggest political stories, including:

— Would any other former president be denied a rally in Alabama like President Donald Trump was?

— Now that Speaker of the Alabama House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) is stepping down, who will replace him? What will his departure mean for the direction of the Alabama Legislature?

— Is anyone in Alabama serious about building new prisons, or is this just all theater while we wait for the federal government to take them over?

80

Jackson and Musick are joined by Talk 99.5 radio talk show host Matt Murphy to discuss the issues facing the state of Alabama this week.

Jackson closes the show with a “Parting Shot” directed at State Auditor Jim Zeigler and his willingness to mislead people about his position, power and intentions.

Watch:

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=4114156325319087

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN and on Talk 99.5 from 10AM to noon.

3 weeks ago

7 Things: Alabama unemployment among best in the nation, Supreme Court upholds voter integrity efforts, ALGOP chair sees nefarious intent in denying Trump Mobile rally and more …

7. College athletes are getting that bag

  • It started with Auburn QB Bo Nix, who received an endorsement deal with Milo’s Tea Co. shortly after midnight when college athletes could profit from their image and likeness. The world is pretending that Alabama fans are mad about it.
  • It did not end with him, as prominent college QBs from Miami and Florida State University helped co-found a company that will connect athletes with brands. Most Alabama and Auburn players signed deals with Yoke, a company that allows them to play games with fans. Others signed with a company that sells personalized videos. Auburn gymnast Derrian Gobourne signed with a company that makes leotards.

6. Threats made against officers won’t be tolerated

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  • Blount County Sheriff Mark Moon has released a statement where he said “it has become common practice to vilify Law Enforcement and praise the lawbreakers,” but he added that dealing with some of this comes with the profession.
  • Moon added, though, that he “will absolutely not tolerate threats toward my deputies and their families. Rest assured if you threaten one of mine or their families you will answer for it.” He also stated, “We may be crowded in the jail but we will make room for you.” These remarks came just before Moon said that there was a juvenile that had been arrested for making “terroristic threats” against one of his deputies.

5. Ivey, Ainsworth are bringing in big campaign money

  • Since Governor Kay Ivey announced that she’s running for reelection, her campaign has raised $1.2 million. These funds have been coming in since May 24, when candidates became eligible to start receiving donations. Ivey has received large contributions from Tuscaloosa businessman Stan Pate, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, Great Southern Wood, Regions Bank, Drummond Company and Volkert Inc. Ivey said she “could not be more grateful” for the support she’s already received.
  • Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth has already raised $911,370 in June alone for his reelection campaign, which is the most ever donated to a lieutenant governor campaign in a month. Ainsworth has also been endorsed by U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville, U.S. Representative Robert Aderholt, Manufacture Alabama, Alabama Forestry Association, Business Council of Alabama’s ProgressPAC, Professional Fire Fighters Association of Alabama, and Petroleum and Convenience Marketers Association.

4. January 6 committee announced, Liz Cheney ends her career

  • The members of Congress that will investigate the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol have been announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) will influence the picks of five members, while Pelosi has announced the eight members already picked by Democrats.
  • The picks by Pelosi were U.S. Representatives Liz Cheney (R-WY), securing her defeat in 2022, Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Pete Aguilar (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Elaine Luria (D-VA), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Adam Schiff (D-CA).

3. ALGOP head thinks USS Alabama Memorial commission didn’t want Trump event

  • Former President Donald Trump is going to hold a rally in Mobile “later in the summer or early fall,” according to a Trump aide. The original plan of holding a Fourth of July celebration at the USS Alabama was blocked, but the aide has claimed that holding the rally in Mobile later this year was decided on “some weeks back” since they have another event planned for Sarasota, Florida, on July 3.
  • Alabama Republican Party Chairman John Wahl, who was part of the organizing of the failed event believes something was afoot. He believes the commission overseeing the site never wanted a Trump event and delayed asking the attorney general for an opinion on the matter to ensure the event wouldn’t take place.

2. Voting integrity efforts upheld in Arizona

  • The U.S. Supreme Court has voted in a 6-3 decision to uphold voting restrictions put in place in Arizona over not counting ballots cast in the incorrect precincts and regulating who is allowed to return early ballots.
  • Justice Elena Kagan wrote in dissent, “What is tragic is that the Court has damaged a statute designed to bring about ‘the end of discrimination in voting.’” The majority court opinion also denies the accusation that these restrictions disproportionately impact minority voters.

1. Some of the lowest unemployment rates in the country are in Alabama

  • The most recent national unemployment rate was at 5.5%; Alabama’s was at 3.4%. Six metro areas in the state are ranked in the top 20 areas in the country with a low jobless rate.
  • The metro areas listed were Decatur at 2.2%, Huntsville 2.2%, Auburn/Opelika 2.4%, Daphne/Fairhope/Foley 2.4%, Birmingham/Hoover 2.6% and Dothan 2.7%. 

3 weeks ago

7 Things: Trump’s enemies strike out again, no prison deal likely next session, Birmingham has a major illegal gun issue and more …

7. Redistricting data could be released soon

  • 2020 U.S. Census redistricting data could be released by August 16 after the U.S. Census Bureau said it’s on schedule to release the numbers. This will be used to redraw congressional and legislative districts.
  • This was announced after federal judges denied Alabama’s request to prevent the Census Bureau from keeping people’s information private through a statistical method. Alabama has argued that this method would cause some of the data to be inaccurate and is an unconstitutional method.

6. Sure, let’s keep bringing the Tuskegee experiment up

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  • There’s a new ad campaign in Alabama to encourage people to get the coronavirus vaccine. The campaign includes relatives of men who were forced into the Tuskegee experiment. Omar Neal and the nephew of Freddie Lee Tyson, who was part of the Tuskegee experiment, appear in the ad.
  • Neal said that he “didn’t want people to use Tuskegee and what transpired there as a reason for not taking the vaccine.” Other family members of Tyson are also involved in the ad campaign, including his daughter Lillie Tyson Head, who says in one of the ads, “Don’t deny ourselves the opportunity the men were denied.”

5. U.S. Capitol rioter from Alabama pleads guilty

  • Mark Grods, 54, an Alabama-based “Oath Keeper” who was involved in the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and is cooperating with the Justice Department.
  • Grods is the second person affiliated with the Oath Keepers to admit to participating in a half-cocked conspiracy to attempt to block the certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory and also agree to help prosecutors. He was looking at five years in prison but is expected to get less time for cooperating.

4. Bill Cosby is still guilty

  • The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has decided to overturn Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction and he has been released as a free man. This decision was made after it was shown that the prosecutor was still under an agreement made by his predecessor not to bring charges against Cosby.
  • Although there was no written evidence of this promise not to charge Cosby, the Supreme Court proceeded with their decision. The testimony Cosby previously gave that was potentially incriminating was in a civil case. The court ultimately said that releasing Cosby “is the only remedy that comports with society’s reasonable expectations of its elected prosecutors and our criminal justice system.”

3. Birmingham has seized 1,405 guns, the mayor wants more policing

  • In 2021 alone, the Birmingham Police Department reported that they’ve already seized 1,405 illegal guns. Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin announced added that 126 of these guns were seized in the last 14 days.
  • Woodfin said in an announcement that what most people “want is more police presence,” adding that with the city’s budget, their main priority and “biggest challenge is public safety.”

2. Prison plan likely won’t make it through the next session

  • Recently, State Representative Steve McMillan (R-Foley) discussed the idea of the state legislature passing anything related to a prison plan next session, and he seemed much less than hopeful considering it’s an election year. 
  • McMillan said the prison issue is “going to take some tough negotiations, and I think it’s going to be a mountain too high to climb during an election year.”

1. They didn’t get Trump after all

  • After a prosecutor ran on indicting the former President of the United States, after going to the Supreme Court to get his tax returns, after empaneling a grand jury and after leaking that indictments of big players were coming, Donald Trump’s enemies strike out again. According to news reports, the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer have been charged, with the specific charges unknown at this time.
  • The charges are expected to be related to CFO Allen Weisselberg and others receiving perks and benefits, including rent-free apartments and leased cars, and then not reporting them on their tax returns. This has got to be a letdown for the people who were convinced that they really had Trump this time.

3 weeks ago

7 Things: Dispute over Trump rally draws attention, Alabama gas prices going up, Republicans will hold COVID-19 hearings but Democrats won’t and more …

7. Oh no, stop — please send your Californians

  • Starting on July 1, state-funded travel from California to Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia will be banned over legislation passed related to transgender youth in sports and healthcare.
  • Other states that California has already restricted travel to are Texas, Oklahoma, Idaho, Alabama, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee.

6. Confederate statues likely to be removed from Capitol

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  • On Tuesday, the House of Representatives considered a bill that would remove the former Vice President John C. Calhoun, Roger Taney and Jefferson Davis statues from the Capitol. Taney was known for a pro-slavery decision, and Davis was part of the Confederacy.
  • U.S. Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) said that the statues are “personally an affront to me as a Black man to walk around and look at these figures and see them standing tall, looking out as if they were visionaries and they did something that was great.”

5. Ivey: Drop plans to expand the court

  • In a letter to President Joe Biden, Governor Kay Ivey joined 19 other governors in asking that Biden abandon any plans to consider expanding the U.S. Supreme Court. This comes as a response to the commission that was created to study the impacts of making changes to the court.
  • The letter pointed out, “Each partisan shift will result in seats added to the Court until the Court has lost not only its independence but its authority.” It also emphasizes how important it is for the court to remain the same to maintain the integrity of the court and its decisions.

4. Speaker of the House race heats up in Alabama

  • Since Alabama Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) announced that he won’t be running for reelection, State Representatives Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa) and Nathanial Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) have both announced their candidacy for the position.
  • Poole outlined in his announcement that as speaker, he would want to “establish transparent processes, and then to aggressively pursue the enactment of policies related to the issues that matter the most to the citizens of our state.” Ledbetter argued his age was an asset, stating, “I am also committed to making the tough decisions, leading the Chamber with authority, and ensuring that the will of the majority is being carried out during floor debates, deliberations, filibusters, and votes.”

3. If Democrats won’t hold the hearing, Republicans will

  • After spending plenty of time advocating for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to hold a hearing on the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, House Republicans have proceeded with their own hearings and continue to demand that Pelosi hold a hearing on the matter.
  • Pelosi spokesperson Henry Connelly said that “if Republicans were actually interested in real answers, they would remember that the House Intelligence Committee is reviewing the intelligence on this matter in addition to the Biden administration’s own review.” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) has also asked that the House take up the COVID-19 Origin Act that’s already been passed by the U.S. Senate in a unanimous vote.

2. Gas prices are up about $1 more than last year

  • Gas prices have already been on the rise nationally, now averaging $3.09 per gallon, the prices in Alabama have continued to increase and only sit slightly below the national average. Currently, prices average $2.81 per gallon in Alabama.
  • This time last year, the average price for a gallon of gas in the state was $1.88. Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi all have lower prices than Alabama, but the highest in the nation is California at $4.27 per gallon.

1. Ivey claims she wasn’t involved in Trump rally decision

  • President Donald Trump was stopped from holding a Fourth of July rally at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park because it was deemed a political event, but Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office says they told them it was not. Initially, there were whispers that Governor Kay Ivey was to blame, which she denied and the commission for the park has confirmed that it was their decision.
  • Ivey’s office said, “Governor Ivey did not get involved to prevent a Trump rally at the USS Alabama.” Ivey spokeswoman Gina Maiola emphasized Ivey’s support of Trump and stated that Ivey advised the commission that the statute preventing state property from being used in a political way “would not bar this event from happening and encouraged them to seek an opinion from the Attorney General.”

4 weeks ago

7 Things: Trump still won’t be charged, masks aren’t coming back in Alabama, Speaker Mac McCutcheon not running for reelection and more …

7. Teacher resigns over racist and homophobic statements

  • Olivia Stephens-Squires, who was a teacher at Southside Preparatory Magnet Academy, has resigned after a video taken of her arguing with her child’s father surfaced. During the video, there are multiple interactions where Stephens-Squires is heard using racial and homophobic slurs.
  • Stephens-Squires was an English teacher and volleyball coach, and she requested to resign before a final decision could be made by the Conecuh County Board of Education. After the video surfaced, some parents, such as Michael Bowens, said their child will not “attend a school system where this type of behavior takes place and nothing is being done about it.”

6. Business Council of Alabama endorses Ivey, Ainsworth and Marshall

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  • Governor Kay Ivey, Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth and Attorney General Steve Marshall have all been endorsed for reelection by the Business Council of Alabama’s Progress PAC.
  • Progress PAC chairman Angus Cooper, III said that the three candidates “are prime examples of public servants who go to work every day with the goal of moving Alabama forward.” In their announcement, the PAC also outlined many of Ivey, Ainsworth and Marshall’s accomplishments while in office.

5. Sure, COVID-19 funds should be  used to fight gun violence

  • President Joe Biden previously announced that coronavirus relief funds from the American Rescue Fund Act could be used to prevent gun violence, and now Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox and Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed have announced that they’ll use some funds for this effort.
  • Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson already announced that he’d be budgeting $5.1 million for gun violence prevention, Maddox has said that about $5 million “is on the table to support law enforcement,” and Reed echoed that Montgomery will use funds to support law enforcement efforts.

4. The media and their Democrats always back the bad guy

  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki was recently asked to comment on U.S. track and field star Gwen Berry who turned her back on the United States flag during the national anthem in the U.S. Olympic trials.
  • Psaki said that President Joe Biden is “incredibly proud to be an American and has great respect for the anthem and all that it represents,” but she added that Biden would also say “that part of that pride in our country means recognizing these are moments where we – as a country, haven’t lived up to our highest ideals” and that Biden supports people’s right to peacefully protest.

3. McCutcheon won’t seek reelection

  • Alabama Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) has announced that he won’t be running for another term in 2022. He explained that the “decision to not seek reelection is a result of my age, my wife and family.”
  • McCutcheon noted that when his current term finishes, he and his wife, Debbie, will be in their 70s, and they “are both in good health and we would like to make the most of our golden years.”

2. Alabama won’t encourage vaccinated people to wear masks

  • Ten Alabama counties are in high or moderate risk environments, but 57 are in low-risk categories for COVID-19. Health experts in Alabama have said that the biggest risk is still to those who are unvaccinated, with UAB spokesman Bob Shepard saying that “most if not all” of the current coronavirus patients at the hospital are unvaccinated.
  • Governor Kay Ivey’s office has reaffirmed that she doesn’t support vaccinated people wearing masks after the World Health Organization said everyone should be wearing masks again to prevent the spread of the “Delta variant.” LA County in California is the first county to suggest bringing back masks indoors because of the “Delta variant.”

1. Witchhunt won’t get their witch

  • For the 20th time, the American media and their Democrats declared that Donald Trump and his allies were about to be charged, and this is where they were going to get him, and once again, it appears they will come up empty.
  • Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance has indicated he does not currently plan to charge the former President Donald Trump with crimes related to allegations of “hush money” payments and real estate value manipulations, according to Ronald Fischetti, a New York attorney who represents the former president. The consolation prize is, apparently, charges against the Trump Organization and some individual employees who allegedly failed to pay taxes on benefits and perks from the corporation.

4 weeks ago

7 Things: Alabama headed back to work, Shelby emptying his war chests, Biden flailing on the actual issues and more …

7. Frustrations felt by families searching for loved ones in Florida condo collapse

  • Search and rescue crews have continued work at the site of Champlain Towers South where a beachfront condo complex collapsed last week. Six people have been pronounced dead, but 152 remain missing.
  • Families have started to express their frustrations with the search, such as Soriya Cohen, who is still waiting for news about her husband and brother-in-law. She said that she feels like she’s “living in a Third World country and they just don’t care enough” when discussing how the search has been conducted.

6. State Rep. Will Dismukes has been indicted

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  • State Representative Will Dismukes (R-Prattville) has been indicted by a grand jury on charges related to theft from his former employer. Dismukes is accused of taking more than $2,500 worth of property from Weiss Flooring.
  • Dismukes’ attorney Trey Norman has said this case belongs in civil court, not criminal. Dismukes has stated that he believes “when we tell our side I’ll be exonerated.”

5. Vaccines without parental consent, CRT and now this

  • As the nation is in the middle of a series of arguments over the current and future state of education, one Washington school system is under fire for a provocative flyer about abortion, condoms, parental consent and all sorts of inappropriate things.
  • Middle school students in Tacoma, Washington, were given a flyer originating with Planned Parenthood that suggested 11-year-olds could have sex and condoms, and Plan B and abortions are available for any age. As usual, assistant director of Secondary Education Eric Hogan said this should have never happened. He advised, “The flyer is not part of our curriculum and should not have been sent home with students.”

4. Derek Chauvin sentenced to 22.5 years

  • Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of murdering George Floyd, has been sentenced to 22 and half years in prison. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said that the sentence “reflects the seriousness” of the crime committed. The maximum sentence allowed under Minnesota law is 40 years.
  • Ellison went on to advocate Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and said that there’s still work to be done with police reform with “a lot of lifting to do.” Ellison added that we need to “have religious leaders, faith leaders, community leaders get out there working with law enforcement to try and stave off what could be a difficult summer if we don’t get ahead of it, and I think we need to.”

3. Biden is still not Trump

  • Over the weekend as Trump rallied in Ohio, Fox News released new polling data that shows President Joe Biden’s approval rating overall is at 53% and his disapproval rating is at 43%, but he’s struggling to gain approval on key issues with immigration, China and Russia.
  • Only 41% of people approve of how Biden is handling immigration, 39% approve of his stance on China and 42% approve of his handling of Russia. His approval does remain high with how he’s dealt with the coronavirus pandemic at 64%.

2. Shelby is emptying his war chests

  • Now that U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) is in his last term in the U.S. Senate, with millions in his campaign and PAC accounts, he is filling up Republican organizations and candidates’ war chests. Shelby gave $160,000 in May alone with all the money going to the ALGOP, RNC, many U.S. Senate incumbents and one person embattled in a primary in Alabama. 
  • Shelby has made it clear he supports Katie Britt in the U.S. Senate primary against U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and Lynda Blanchard, so it is not a surprise that he also maxed out on his campaign contributions while staying out of Republican primaries elsewhere. 

1. Alabama is returning to work

  • In a trend that is playing out in other red states, as the country has come out of the pandemic, the states that ended the increased federal unemployment benefit are putting people back to work faster than states that have not. As people go back, industries across Alabama are returning to work in person. 
  • While there are people getting back to work, it has still been a slow return to the office for many. Rev Birmingham conducted a survey that shows 29% of people in Birmingham are unsure of when they’ll return to in-person work, 42% will go back in September and only 19% have already started working back in the office. There’s also been growing support for a hybrid work system that allows some days in-office and others working from home.

4 weeks ago

VIDEO: Vaccines for kids in Alabama schools, race for governor a hot topic, SPLC targets Mo Brooks and more on Alabama Politics This Week

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and political consultant Mecca Musick take you through Alabama’s biggest political stories, including:

— Should Alabama school systems be engaged in recruiting kids for vaccinations without parental consent?

— Are all of Governor Kay Ivey’s potential challengers easily dismissed after one acknowledges she can’t be beat?

— How happy is U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) to see the Southern Poverty Law Center attacking him in the middle of a GOP primary for U.S. Senate?

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Jackson and Musick are joined by Mobile’s FM Talk 106.5 FM radio talk show host Sean Sullivan to discuss the issues facing the state of Alabama this week.

Jackson closes the show with a “Parting Shot” directed at President Joe Biden and his self-defeating suggestion that the military has F-15s and nuclear bombs as a talking point about seizing weapons from law-abiding Americans.

Watch:

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN and on Talk 99.5 from 10AM to noon.